If you want to catch up, read Part I, Part II, and Part III.
I left off where I was just wrapping things up with my doctor. Complete with hugs, sorry looks and plenty of "it's not your fault, don't blame yourself" conversation. She told me to think about whether I wanted the D&C procedure, or I wanted to let my body miscarry on it's own, and to call her back. She also gave me the number to a "very good" abortion clinic in L.A. who could perform the D&C if I chose that route. I left in complete confusion, sadness and shock. I needed time to talk to Andy and process what just happened.
I finally made the call to Andy and my mom met me in the parking lot to drive me to her house. It's difficult to tell anyone that you've lost your child but telling Andy was the hardest thing I've had to do. I didn't want to tell him. I couldn't get the words out between utter hysterics. Andy left Vegas and started a 6 hour drive home that involved a lot of tears on his end from what I've heard. I started texting close friends and family, and got into bed and cried. Emotionally I started to suppress what had just happened. I told myself this wasn't the right time for us, and to look on the bright side of things - I finally wasn't feeling so sick anymore, I could have a glass of wine, enjoy Carter more, etc. I started to accept what happened, although I think I was only pushing my pain far far away. I knew it would have to be dealt with at some point, but in that moment I didn't want to think about it anymore so I tried to act as if I was ok with it all.
A few hours later, my mom offered to treat me to a mani / pedi and then take me to pick up Carter from daycare. I went. I sat there getting my feet rubbed by the pedicurist while she smiled at me happily. I kept wondering what she would think if she knew that I had found out hours earlier that I had a dead baby inside of me. Did she know that on this particular day my life had changed forever? I also started to wonder what I would say if someone asked me if I was pregnant. I wasn't exactly showing, but I was in maternity jeans and I had been asked before so it wouldn't have been a total surprise. What would I say? Sort of? No? Yes? Please just don't let anyone ask me.
Once Andy returned home, we did some thinking (ok, we didn't need to think about it), and we opted for the D&C procedure. We both wanted to move on as soon as possible. I felt guilty about having a glass of wine because my baby was still inside of me. I called my doctor to let me know that I wanted to have the D & C procedure, but I begged her for any other option besides going to an abortion clinic. She told me she would look into it and call me back. Andy, Carter and I went home that night. I remember lying in bed, rubbing my belly and telling my baby how sorry I was for not protecting it better, and how I loved it so very much and couldn't wait to meet it someday. Although I wanted this procedure done and over with, the thought that I still had my baby with me comforted me.
The next day I decided to make an appointment with the clinic. I couldn't go back to work with my baby still inside of me and pretend everything was ok until I found another option. I felt weird even going to the grocery store or leaving the house at all. I needed to be cocooned until this was over. But every time I thought about driving to downtown L.A, and walking into the clinic with other women who want to get rid of their unwanted babies, I cried a bit harder. The clinic set my appointment for Friday and sent me off for blood work while they verified my insurance.
My doctor called me a few hours later and told me she had performed a C-Section with another doctor that day and that he could perform my surgery, let's call him Dr. Smith. She gave me his name and number. I decided to give him a call but his number didn't work and when I googled him, it gave me the same phone number. It wasn't meant to be I thought, and because I was already progressing with the clinic I decided to continue with them.
Later that day, Andy picked me up from the house and then we picked up Carter from daycare and we drove to the lab to get my blood work done. As I walked into he building, and down the long hallway to the lab, when I noticed the office next door to the lab had a paper sign on it that said "Dr. Smith, OBGYN." This was the same doctor my doctor told me about. He just moved offices! No wonder why his number didn't work. What a coincidence. But I still decided to continue with the clinic because I had already scheduled my procedure and given them all my information.
One of my good friend's Samantha had come by with her son to check on me when I received that call. I told her about the other doctor, but I didn't have a working number for him - but I remembered that I knew where his office was. She told me we should just show up at his office. So that's exactly what we did. When we arrived, I told the nurse I didn't have an appointment but that my doctor recommended him as I needed a D&C procedure due to a missed miscarriage. She told me to have a seat. Within minutes the doctor came out into the waiting room to meet me. He shook my hand and had the most reassuring kind smile. He said he had spoken to my doctor about me and was glad I came in. He led me back to an exam room and we sat and talked about everything. I usually don't feel comfortable with male Obgyn's, but I didn't with him. He was the first person who gave me a sense of peace about everything and I finally felt like I would be taken care of.
I told him I wanted the procedure done as soon as possible, preferably before the weekend. He told me it wasn't possible to book the surgery on such short notice with the hospital, and that the earliest would be Monday. I just wanted this over. Emotionally I couldn't handle walking around and living my life knowing this child was no longer thriving inside of me. I pleaded with him and he said he would make some calls and stepped out of the room. He returned a few minutes later with beautiful news. They could fit me in at 7pm the following night. Hallelujah! I thought about his wife and kids at home (he told me about them) and how he was going to spend his Friday night operating on me because he truly cared for me and wanted to help me. I am so grateful I walked into his office that day. I went from hopeless to re-assured within an hour.
He gave me several prescriptions, including one that I needed to start taking that day called Cytotec to soften my cervix. It would make the procedure much easier to perform. It would also cause my body to contract and bleed. Basically it would send my body into labor. It is also used to induce abortion in pregnancy. And after midnight, I could no longer eat or drink - I had to fast completely. Sure, whatever I need to do, I thought.
Let my tell you, cytotec was not a pleasant experience. Within hours I started cramping and contracting intensely. I couldn't sleep because it hurt so much, and I couldn't take painkillers because I was fasting. I woke up in the morning and I was gushing blood. I started to freak out. What if I give birth to my baby before the procedure? Can I handle this intense pain ALL day? Should I be bleeding this much?
Read Part V here.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
If you want to catch up, read Part I, Part II, and Part III.